Some things to consider when looking for credible COVID-19 information include potential source bias, reputation of the publisher, and resources cited. Start with sites you know, consider the date of the publication, author’s credentials, and whether the piece offers concrete fact or mere opinion. Stick with primary sources that provide you with direct evidence such as government sites, public health groups and official health sources like Niagara Public Health, the World Health Organization, the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Health.
If in doubt, consider these questions to evaluate:
- Is the piece well-presented, grammatically correct, and devoid of error? If not, this should be your first indication that the piece is not credible.
- Can I find the name of an authority (author or contributor) that provided the factual content, and what are their relevant credentials? Is this individual an expert in their field? It’s important to trust the direction of medical professionals at a time like this, and not the interpretation of direction by medical professionals.
- Who published this material and is the publisher reputable? Does this publisher have something to gain through sensationalizing or otherwise skewing information to attract readership?
- Is the information presented clearly and concisely? True educational resources will not offer flowery or elaborate descriptions or attempt to make a document entertaining to the reader. It will simply present fact and/or relevant data.
- How often is this information updated? In an ever-evolving situation like COVID-19, credible resources should be updated daily.
Some sources to check out: